Madrid-Atletico aftermath: issues galore

May 11, 2017

Antoine Griezmann appears to touch the ball with his right foot before shooting with his left

Real Madrid are just one match away from becoming the first team to successfully defend the Champions League title – after they qualified for the final against Juventus thanks to a 4-2 aggregate semi-final win over Atletico.

Atletico went two goals up early on in a feisty game at the Vicente Calderon but Isco scored before the interval to seal his side’s path to Cardiff.

But for those fans who missed some of the finer details of the last-ever Madrid derby at the Vicente Calderon, Sportsmail have provided a handy list.

Real Madrid are one step away from becoming the first team to defend the Champions League

Antoine Griezmann looks despondent as the rain fell at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday

As predicted, the semi-final second leg on Wednesday was a match played with an incredible level of intensity.

Referee Cuneyt Cakir certainly had his hands full during a first half punctuated by constant foul play as the two rivals scrapped to gain any advantage they could over each other.

By the half-time whistle there had already been 14 fouls and five bookings dished out by Cakir as the Turkish official struggled to keep control.

During the BT Sport’s half-time analysis, Lineker labelled the match a ‘proper derby’ and described it as ‘carnage at times.’

The only question seemed to be – when would the first red be dished out? By some miracle it never materialized.

Atletico Madrid skipper Gabi reacts furiously after a decision from referee Cuneyt Cakir

Twitter certainly seemed to think a red card was just a matter of time in Wednesday's match

After their ecstatic reactions to seeing Barcelona complete their dramatic comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, it’s clear BT Sport have hired some excitable pundits.

And it seems they were similarly enthused by the atmosphere at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday night.

Rio Ferdinand tweeted after Atletico took an early two-goal lead that ‘People crying and all sorts here at the Vicente Calderon… unreal scenes!’ while Gary Lineker described the stadium as ‘jumping.’

 Pundits Rio Ferdinand and Gary Lineker clearly enjoyed the Vicente Calderon atmosphere

Pundits Rio Ferdinand and Gary Lineker clearly enjoyed the Vicente Calderon atmosphere

Isco ends Atletico’s remarkable defensive record:

When Isco tucked home from close range just before the interval he broke an longstanding defensive record for Atletico in the Champions League knockout stages.

Incredibly Simeone’s side had not conceded a goal at the Vicente Calderon in a knockout stage match since 2014, scored by AC Milan’s Kaka.

Isco’s striker ended a run which stretched across nine matches – against Barcelona twice, Bayer Leverkusen twice, Bayern Munich, PSV, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Leicester from 2014-17.

Isco ends Atletico's run of clean sheets at home in Champions League knockout stages

Kaka celebrates in 2014, the last time Atletico conceded a home knockout goal before Isco

Karim Benzema shows off his twinkle toes:

Not usually associated with quick feet, Karim Benzema pulled off an delightful piece of skill to create Isco’s strike just before the interval.

Benzema collected a throw in near the corner flag and was instantly surrounded by three Atletico shirts – seemingly left nowhere to go.

However the Madrid forward somehow managed to dance past the defenders and keep the ball in play with some beautifully delicate touches- setting up Toni Kroos for a shot which was eventually parried out by Jan Oblak into the path of Isco.

Karim Benzema dances along the touchline with some lovely touches to create the chance

Twitter reacted with a mixture of surprise and praise after Benzema’s remarkable skills

Diego Simeone keeps his men hungry:

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is rarely left wanting when it comes to bringing passion and intensity to the sidelines.

And before the match the Argentine joked that he had taken special measures to ensure his side were left ‘hungry’ enough to turn around the three-goal deficit from the semi-final first leg.

A smiling Simeone told BT Sport: ‘We haven’t eaten in four days, so imagine how hungry we are!’ – judging by how his team began the match you’d be tempted to believe him…

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has made a name with his remarkable intensity

Did Antoine Griezmann kick the ball twice?

Atletico’s talismanic striker Antoine Griezmann fired his side 2-0 from the penalty spot in the sixteenth minute – an effort which Keylor Navas got a hand to on its way in.

However look a little closer and the Frenchman appears to slip as he takes the spot-kick, possibly striking it with his standing right foot before he shoots home past Navas with his left.

Lineker briefly alluded to the incident, which would have resulted in an indirect free-kick to Real Madrid if the referee ruled it a double hit, saying on BT Sport: ‘A double hit there from Griezmann? It would take a brave ref to [call him up on it].’

Later on ITV, Lee Dixon was more adamant: ‘He kicks it against his right foot and kicks it twice – it should be disallowed.’

Atletico take home some mementos:

Atletico fans may have just seen their side get dumped out the Champions League by their hated rivals but they weren’t to be denied a good time.

Celebrating in the stands after the last-ever Madrid derby at the Vicente Calderon, Atletico’s supporters partied as the rain poured down after the final whistle.

And some even took the opportunity to grab some lasting memorabilia from their stadium before it gets knocked down this summer – ripping up dozens of plastic seats.

Not sure where the fans plan to sit for the stadium’s final match ever though – at home to Athletic Bilbao on 21 May.

Atletico supporters lift up blue seats they had uprooted from the Vicente Calderon stands

Four out of four for Real

The semi-final tie was the fourth time in four seasons that Real Madrid have faced Atletico in a Champions League knockout stage.

And having beaten them in the 2014 final, the 2015 quarter-final and the 2016 final – Real made it four out of four with this 4-2 semi-final aggregate victory.

Even more remarkable is in the eight league matches played over the same span, Atletico have by far the upper hand – winning four times, drawing three and losing just once.

But Europe’s a different story and Diego Simeone must be sick of meeting Atletico’s rivals in the Champions League.

Real Madrid's players celebrate after they beat Atletico yet again in the Champions League

Simeone's squad have now lost in each of the last four years in the Champions League to Real


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